By Mary McTamaney Labor Day weekend just marked the end of summer vacation for most people. Soon school and work will consume everyone’s days. A few lucky families may plan winter holiday breaks to Florida or out into the warmer ocean currents on cruises into the Caribbean and beyond. For Newburghers a generation ago, a … Continue reading Hudson River Cruises – The Last Century’s Mini-Vacations
By Mary McTamaney For all those who reminisce about Newburgh’s past: the bustle of its downtown neighborhoods, the friendliness of passersby, the variety of things to do, the beauty of looking out on the river and the joy of riding out on the water, know that all that is back. In this 300th birthday year, … Continue reading Back Out On The River
Here, in the middle of that new water highway was Newburgh just waking up from its sleepy little status as a regional market town after the Revolutionary War. In the fall of 1824, our community’s memories of the Revolution were refreshed by the visit of the Marquis de Lafayette, George Washington’s trusted advisor and friend. Lafayette returned here to the place where he witnessed the great revolution come to an end and where a lasting peace was declared by Washington from the lawn of the Hasbrouck farm. Lafeyette was curious as to how the young republic had fared. The 10,000 visitors who descended on little Newburgh (a village of fewer than 6,000 in 1824) for Lafayette’s reception caused its civic leaders to see the crucial historical, political and geographical connection this village had to American history and to begin to capitalize on it. Thus when the cannon volleys rang out over the Hudson in October 1825 to signal the new connections the Erie Canal made possible, a few creative Newburghers were planning amid their rejoicing for a greater downtown Newburgh.
This is the high time of year for seeing cruise boats o the Hudson. All sizes and types of boats are taking people out for sightseeing, for dinner or for a longer trip up the valley and back again. Newburghers enjoy counting the many new boats they see passing our shores (and hoping more of them will stop at our shore in years to come). Watching a couple of attractive-looking long-distance river cruisers go by this week prompted me to look back at some of the chronicles written about river trips of long ago. From the days of sail and booking a berth on a packet sloop through the days of the grand “floating palaces” – the steamboats – the Hudson River has been our road through eastern New York and the water road into the interior United States for many decades.